ERIC Number: ED252459
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
When Law-Related Education is a Deterrent to Delinquency: Evaluation Methods and Findings and Addendum: A Preliminary Response to James P. Shaver's Paper, "The Law-Related Education Evaluation Project: A Methodological Critique of the 'Impacts on Students' Findings."
The methodology and findings of the Law-Related Education Project's research reports which evaluated the effects on secondary students of law-related education (LRE), are discussed. A response to James P. Shaver's negative critique of the Law-Related Education Project's research studies also is provided. A detailed account of the research results obtained from one site--Bill Reed Junior High School (Loveland, Colorado)--that demonstrated significant favorable LRE impact is included. Through student questionnaires, the original study compared the delinquency behavior of ninth-graders enrolled in LRE classes with the behavior of students enrolled in civics classes. To determine long-term effects of LRE, a follow-up study was also conducted. The general summation of findings was that when properly implemented, LRE can serve as a deterrent to delinquent behavior. Effective LRE instruction must consist of certain features and teaching methods; not all LRE classes deter delinquent behavior. Shaver's critique does not give cause to revise any conclusions regarding the research. A defensible critique must present accurately the research that it examines. Shaver's did not; the conclusions in his review rely on very selective choices of data. With respect to the appropriateness of relying on student self-reports in measuring delinquency, many studies have demonstrated that self-reports are valid and reliable. Completely ignored by the critique was the fact that the test of the theory of delinquency causation yielded overwhelmingly supportive findings. (RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Action Research, Inc., Boulder, CO.